LONDON - Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever reported a 9% rise in first-quarter earnings but said its underlying sales grew a less-than-expected 2.9%.
   The maker of Knorr soups, Dove soap and Omo detergent, is still waiting for a major rebound in demand in Western Europe despite slashing the prices of key brands since January.
   It said consumer spending in the region remained sluggish and it had to work hard to maintain its market share.